“distressing” levels of student sexual assault and harassment

The nationwide survey of college college students has revealed that one in 20 college students have been sexually assaulted and one in six sexually harassed since beginning college. Female and gender-diverse college students have been disproportionately impacted, with an awesome majority of perpetrators being male.  

Commissioned by the sector peak physique, Universities Australia and was carried out by the Social Research Centre in direction of late 2021, the survey revealed that one in two college students who confronted sexual assault and/or sexual harassment, knew nothing or little or no concerning the formal reporting processes.

Only one in 20 of these college students who had been assaulted made a proper grievance and just one in 30 of those that confronted sexual harassment, made a proper grievance. One in 4 of those that confronted sexual assault sought assist or help whereas just one in six of those that confronted sexual harassment did so.

However, the survey revealed that worldwide college students and those that didn’t converse English as their most well-liked language at house, had been much less more likely to have been sexually assaulted and sexually harassed.

Some 1.7% of worldwide college students had been sexually assaulted in a college context since beginning college, in distinction to five.2% of home college students.

For college college students who converse a language apart from English at house, 1.8% had been sexually assaulted, in comparison with 5.6% of college college students who primarily converse English at house.

Among worldwide college students, 47.1% had been more likely to have been sexually harassed, compared to 62.3% of their home counterparts, by a pupil from their college.

Also, 50.4% worldwide college students who converse a language apart from English at house, had been more likely to have been sexually harassed by a pupil from their college, compared to 62.7% of the home college students.

That stated, the survey has revealed that worldwide college students are additionally much less more likely to report incidents than their home counterparts. 

The outcomes of the survey had been “distressing, disappointing and confronting”, stated John Dewar, Universities Australia chair, in his response to the survey outcomes.

As a nation, this cannot be tolerated, and as a sector, we will continue to be part of the solution”

“The survey results are part of a growing body of evidence in Australia which shows that sexual harassment and sexual assault are pervasive in all corners of our society. As a nation, this cannot be tolerated, and as a sector, we will continue to be part of the solution,” Dewar emphasised.

A complete of 43,819 college students participated within the survey and 1,835 sharing their very own lived expertise and private encounters. 

In a assertion Kate Jenkins, Australia’s Sex Discrimination commissioner, stated that the report “makes it clear that sexual harassment and sexual assault remain a serious problem within Australian universities”.

“Sexual harassment and sexual assault remain far too prevalent in the Australian community. Women, young people and intersectional groups face unacceptably higher risk of this conduct at home, at work, online and in education, including in universities,” Jenkins famous.

She stated that the “community momentum” towards sexual assault and sexual harassment had been rising since 2017 and that the nation had seen “significant work” within the type of the Australian Human Rights Commission’s  Respect@Work National Inquiry (2020) and Set the Standard, Review of Commonwealth Parliamentary Workplaces (2021) reviews.

In 2017, Change the Course Report was printed, which was a nationwide report on sexual assault and sexual harassment at Australian Universities. The Australian Human Rights Commission had drafted the report, upon being engaged for the duty by Australia’s college sector in 2016.

Although the 2016 and the 2021 reviews on sexual assault and sexual harassment would possibly draw comparisons, Jenkins cautioned towards straight evaluating the figures between the 2, as there have been “methodological changes” made within the NSSS survey. She known as this lack of ability to do knowledge comparisons between the NSSS and the Change the Course surveys, a “missed opportunity”.

She stated that, nevertheless, since 2017, Australian universities had been making concerted efforts in direction of closing the hole towards sexual assault and sexual harassment, after confronting revelations got here by way of in that 12 months’s report.

She inspired “universities to continue to unite in industry action, recognising their common drivers of sexual harassment and assault, sharing learnings, ensuring consistency in leadership and commitment, and maximising prevention.”

All students deserve a safe and respectful education”

“All students deserve a safe and respectful education, and failure to provide this reflects badly on all of us,” Jenkins stated.

The Australian public broadcaster, ABC News has launched a compilation of the outcomes from the 39 universities that participated within the NSSS.

The Australian National University within the nation’s capital, Canberra, has drawn extreme criticism after discovering that 12.3% respondents from ANU stated they’d been sexually assaulted since they began college, second solely to the Bond University and approach past the nationwide common.

An extra 26.1% stated they’d confronted sexual harassment since they began college, the best out of all taking part universities.

“Today’s results are difficult for our community. And my thoughts are with victim-survivors, their loved ones and the dedicated professionals and advocates who work so hard to support them,” stated Brian Schmidt, ANU’s vice-chancellor.

The ANU stated that though the charges of sexual assault and harassment reported from its campus had been a lot greater than the nationwide common, it was additionally the case that because of a better consciousness amongst college students on the place to report incidents and search assist, the ANU recorded greater than nationwide common numbers of the variety of complaints made and assist sought by college students.

“But while these results are confronting, they are the only way we can understand the scale of the challenge we continue to face and how we can best target our action to keep our community safe,”  he stated.

“ANU is listening and acting, and we are making major new investments”, he stated, so as to cease and cope with the unacceptable conduct.

“Our new $3.3-million-a-year Student Safety and Wellbeing Plan will deliver significant new resources for staffing in ANU residences, recruiting new case managers, making consent training a mandatory part of students’ enrolment and further embedding a zero-tolerance approach in ANU culture, including policies, language, training and disciplinary procedures,” he stated, whereas highlighting a spread of initiatives that the college was taking.

If you want assist, assist is on the market.


Phone and on-line counselling for folks impacted by sexual assault, home or household violence and abuse, obtainable 24/7.

1800 737 732


Phone and on-line confidential disaster assist, obtainable 24/7.

13 11 14

University security companies

Find assist and security companies at your college.


Phone and on-line assist and referral service for LGBTIQ+ folks, obtainable 3pm to midnight in your time zone.

1800 184 527

MensLine Australia

Phone and on-line counselling service for males, obtainable 24/7.

1300 78 99 78

Beyond Blue

Phone and on-line psychological well being counselling and recommendation, obtainable 24/7.

1300 22 4636

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